Big acts on way to Open Air Theatre

JLS, Olly Murs and Dionne Warwick are all set to perform.
JLS, Olly Murs and Dionne Warwick are all set to perform.

THE summer season at Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre has been saved after it was announced that three big-name acts will perform at the venue.

Boy band JLS, chart-topping singer Olly Murs and ’60s legend Dionne Warwick will all feature at the £3.5 million theatre in the coming months.

The acts have been booked by Scarborough Council in the absence of an announcement from the venue’s operator, Apollo Resorts and Leisure, which had originally been due to reveal shows in November.

Cllr David Jeffels, who holds the council portfolio for tourism, said: “These acts and others which we hope to announce very shortly will ensure not only that the Open Air Theatre is staging top-line entertainment but that Scarborough as a whole will be a Mecca for holiday entertainment this summer.

“It’s an exciting line-up and one which will have a very wide appeal to the younger generation and older people as well.

“The shows will enhance the Open Air Theatre’s reputation as one of the country’s outstanding venues and will lead to more big names being booked in future seasons.”

Cllr Jeffels said that council officers had been working frantically behind the scenes over the past two months to secure the performers.

He added: “We’ve been negotiating since we realised that Apollo weren’t meeting their deadlines to come up with a program. There has been a lot of hard work to ensure Scarborough is the place to be for seaside entertainment.”

Dionne Warwick will be the first of the acts to perform, on Wednesday June 6. She will be followed by Olly Murs on Sunday July 15 and JLS on Saturday August 18.

Support acts, which the council have promised will be “high-profile”, are due to be announced shortly.

Council leader Cllr Tom Fox said: “I’m delighted the council is able to bring such fantastic acts to the Open Air Theatre in 2012. It’s a wonderful setting for outdoor entertainment and Scarborough people – as well as the hundreds of thousands who visit the resort every summer – deserve to be able see acts of this calibre on their doorstep, in their town.”

Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill also welcomed the announcement.

He said: “They’re three big-name acts. I think JLS will definitely sell out and the other two may very well sell out as well. I think I’ll buy tickets to Dionne Warwick myself.

“It’s good news for Scarborough and the people who will be able to see these acts on their doorstep, and it’s even better news for the hospitality industry.

“Several thousand different people will be flocking to Scarborough. Hopefully they’ll stay overnight and I’m sure they’ll have fish and chips on the seafront while they’re here.”

Mr Goodwill also laid down a challenge to Apollo Resorts and Leisure following the announcement of the council-booked shows.

He added: “Scarborough Borough Council are not in showbusiness and have secured three very good acts. Where are the shows promised by Apollo? Their trade is showbusiness promotion.”

Tickets will go on sale on Monday March 12 through Ticketmaster.